Greg McKeown:

Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call “the clarity paradox,” which can be summed up in four predictable phases:

Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success.

Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities.

Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts.

Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.

And, per the aforelinked E.B. White example, Phase 2 above should also include that when we have public success, it leads to more external demands on our time and attention (though perhaps that’s what is meant by “more options”).

(Via Kottke.)

How Success Can be a Catalyst for Failure